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Glasgow to become “powerhouse” of Europe’s technology sector following new investment

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The sum includes £257,000 of grant funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is part of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda. 

The initiative is supported by industry executives with decades of experience from leading organisations including Plexus, Meta, Blackberry, Motorola, and Volvo Cars.

The aim is for as many as 100 companies to be up and running at a 250-desk office under the name of thebeyond in Finnieston, spanning industries including drones and robot development, AI, nanotech and medtech.

Following the announcement, CEO of Volvo Cars Jim Rowan has said the investment in Glasgow’s tech industry could allow the city to “compete on the global stage.”

Mr Rowan said: “We have the talent and innovation from our universities, now we are boosting entrepreneurship and increasing the ambition to position Glasgow as a leader in the development and application of key future technologies that will allow it to compete on the global stage.”

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Paul Wilson, co-founder and chief executive of STAC, one of the investment partners and a centre supporting the investment needs of tech startups based in Glasgow, says the aim is to make the city a “powerhouse” of the technology sector. 

The funding aims to support Glasgow in becoming a development ground for homegrown tech innovations via STAC, which was launched in 2021. It is already home to a number of tech companies taking shares in international markets, including Crucial in space and satellite tech and Kingdom Technology in Robotics. 

The partnership says it aims to turn Glasgow into Europe’s largest Internet of Things (IoT) innovation club. IoT is a term used in the tech industry to describe a network of devices that connect and exchange data. 

Mr Wilson said: “Glasgow can be a powerhouse in the key technologies that will enhance life and industry for the next decades. As we build the leading tech cluster around STAC’s thebeyond we will gain a reputation and attract international investment. 

“That’s the goal, ambitious and realisable. We believe thebeyond will be Europe’s largest Smart Things and IoT space.”

“Glasgow has all the elements – talent, innovation, and a collaborative spirit – needed to lead in what is known as the ‘Era of Things’. We believe we are on the cusp of something extraordinary. From thebeyond tech companies will develop tomorrow’s technologies to compete in global markets.”

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The deputy leader of Glasgow City Council has said the hope is to become a “leading technology-driven city” while attracting new jobs and careers in the sector. 

Councillor Ricky Bell of the SNP said: “This collaboration will help Glasgow become a leading technology-driven city, with our services and buildings powered by homegrown innovation to the benefit of everyone who lives, works and studies here.

“We will empower Glasgow’s start-ups to hone their technologies here and then compete internationally, enhancing our position on the global tech stage and bringing a great number of new jobs and careers in this sector.”

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